Lamachus having thus spoken nevertheless gave his own voice for the proposal of Alciblades.1
Whereupon Alcibiades sailed across in his admiral's ship to Messenè and proposed an alliance to-the inhabitants. He failed to convince them, for they refused to receive the Athenians into the city, although they offered to open a market for them outside the walls. So he sailed back to Rhegium.
The generals at once manned sixty ships, selecting the crews indifferently out of the entire fleet, and taking the necessary provisions coasted along to Naxos; they left the rest of the armament and one of themselves at Rhegium.
The Naxians received them into their city, and they sailed on to Catana; but the Catanaeans, having a Syracusan party within their walls, denied admission to them;
so they moved to the river Terias and there encamped. On the following day they went on to Syracuse in long file with all their ships, except ten, which they had sent forward to sail into the Great Harbour and see whether there was any fleet launched. On their approaching the city a herald was to proclaim from the decks that the Athenians had come to restore their allies and kinsmen the Leontines to their homes, and that therefore any Leontines who were in Syracuse should regard the Athenians as their friends and benefactors, and join them without fear.
When the proclamation had been made, and the fleet had taken a survey of the city, and harbours, and of the ground which was to be the scene of operations, they sailed back to Catana.